Legal Frameworks for Feminist Advocacy


The legal ambiguity surrounding federal regulation of lobbying and political activities, following the Ontario Superior Court’s 2018 Canada Without Poverty decision, has been a significant concern for the charitable and non-profit sector. This module attempts to clarify some of the issues that may arise when feminist charities, non-profits and advocates try to operate within these shifting legal frameworks, with a particular focus on the Elections Act, the Lobbying Act, the Income Tax Act, and recent parliamentary discussions relating to the charitable sector. This module will also address compliance with anti-spam legislation, an important issue for the non-profit sector. 


Watch examples of advocacy led by the not-for-profit sector and videos explaining the legal frameworks for feminist advocacy


Readings on legal frameworks for feminist advocacy

Advocacy Regulations and the Election: Some thought on Political Activities, Elections Canada Rules and Lobbying Regulations

Mark Blumberg

Political Financing Handbook for Candidates and Official Agents

Elections Canada

Canada Without Poverty v AG Canada, 2018 ONSC 4147

Catalyst for Change: A Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector

The Senate Special Committee on the Charitable Sector

Engage & Discuss

What law reform activities might be considered “partisan”, and therefore “prohibited activities” for charities in Canada?

Without government funding for equality rights related research and advocacy work, how might a non-profit organization without charitable status raise funds for politically charged law reform and advocacy activities?

What should the role of the State be in funding feminist dissent?